Clinical significance and prognosis of idiopathic syringomyelia

Masaya Nakamura, Ken Ishii, Kota Watanabe, Takashi Tsuji, Morio Matsumoto, Yoshiaki Toyama, Kazuhiro Chiba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective case series. OBJECTIVE: To determine the clinical significance and prognosis of idiopathic syringomyelia. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: With the widespread use of magnetic resonance imaging, cases of syringomyelia are found occasionally. However, the clinical significance and optimum treatment strategy for idiopathic syringomyelia remain unclear, because there are few reports on details of this condition. METHODS: The clinical records and magnetic resonance images of 15 patients with idiopathic syringomyelia were reviewed to determine the changes in patient's neurologic status assessed by the Japanese Orthopedic Association scores for cervical myelopathy and the distribution of the syringomyelia on magnetic resonance imaging. Twelve cases were treated conservatively (conservative group) and syringo-subarachnoid shunt was performed in the remaining 3 cases (surgical group). The follow-up period ranged from 7 to 20 years (mean: 10.5 y). RESULTS: The localized type of idiopathic syringomyelia, which extended under 3 vertebras (mean: 2.1 vertebras), was observed in the 12 patients of the conservative group. There were no significant changes in either the size of the syringomyelia or the severity of the neurologic deficits during the follow-up period (mean: 10 y). In contrast, the extended type, which distributed over 4 or more vertebras (mean: 10.2 vertebras), was observed in the 3 patients of the surgical group. Because of severe and progressive neurologic deficits, syringo-subarachnoid shunt was performed and the surgery successfully prevented further neurologic deterioration. The mean Japanese Orthopedic Association score of the surgical group was significantly lower than that of the conservative group, both at the time of the initial examination and at the final follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: There are 2 types of idiopathic syringomyelia. One is a "localized" type, which might represents congenital enlargement of the central canal of the spinal cord, and can be managed conservatively. The other is an "extended" type, which causes progressive neurologic dysfunction, and should be treated surgically to prevent further neurologic deterioration. Further study should be needed to clarify the mechanism of the extended type of idiopathic syringomyelia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)372-375
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Spinal Disorders and Techniques
Volume22
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01-07-2009
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Syringomyelia
Spine
Neurologic Manifestations
Nervous System
Orthopedics
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Spinal Cord Diseases
Spinal Cord
Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this

Nakamura, Masaya ; Ishii, Ken ; Watanabe, Kota ; Tsuji, Takashi ; Matsumoto, Morio ; Toyama, Yoshiaki ; Chiba, Kazuhiro. / Clinical significance and prognosis of idiopathic syringomyelia. In: Journal of Spinal Disorders and Techniques. 2009 ; Vol. 22, No. 5. pp. 372-375.
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abstract = "STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective case series. OBJECTIVE: To determine the clinical significance and prognosis of idiopathic syringomyelia. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: With the widespread use of magnetic resonance imaging, cases of syringomyelia are found occasionally. However, the clinical significance and optimum treatment strategy for idiopathic syringomyelia remain unclear, because there are few reports on details of this condition. METHODS: The clinical records and magnetic resonance images of 15 patients with idiopathic syringomyelia were reviewed to determine the changes in patient's neurologic status assessed by the Japanese Orthopedic Association scores for cervical myelopathy and the distribution of the syringomyelia on magnetic resonance imaging. Twelve cases were treated conservatively (conservative group) and syringo-subarachnoid shunt was performed in the remaining 3 cases (surgical group). The follow-up period ranged from 7 to 20 years (mean: 10.5 y). RESULTS: The localized type of idiopathic syringomyelia, which extended under 3 vertebras (mean: 2.1 vertebras), was observed in the 12 patients of the conservative group. There were no significant changes in either the size of the syringomyelia or the severity of the neurologic deficits during the follow-up period (mean: 10 y). In contrast, the extended type, which distributed over 4 or more vertebras (mean: 10.2 vertebras), was observed in the 3 patients of the surgical group. Because of severe and progressive neurologic deficits, syringo-subarachnoid shunt was performed and the surgery successfully prevented further neurologic deterioration. The mean Japanese Orthopedic Association score of the surgical group was significantly lower than that of the conservative group, both at the time of the initial examination and at the final follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: There are 2 types of idiopathic syringomyelia. One is a {"}localized{"} type, which might represents congenital enlargement of the central canal of the spinal cord, and can be managed conservatively. The other is an {"}extended{"} type, which causes progressive neurologic dysfunction, and should be treated surgically to prevent further neurologic deterioration. Further study should be needed to clarify the mechanism of the extended type of idiopathic syringomyelia.",
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Nakamura, M, Ishii, K, Watanabe, K, Tsuji, T, Matsumoto, M, Toyama, Y & Chiba, K 2009, 'Clinical significance and prognosis of idiopathic syringomyelia', Journal of Spinal Disorders and Techniques, vol. 22, no. 5, pp. 372-375. https://doi.org/10.1097/BSD.0b013e3181761543

Clinical significance and prognosis of idiopathic syringomyelia. / Nakamura, Masaya; Ishii, Ken; Watanabe, Kota; Tsuji, Takashi; Matsumoto, Morio; Toyama, Yoshiaki; Chiba, Kazuhiro.

In: Journal of Spinal Disorders and Techniques, Vol. 22, No. 5, 01.07.2009, p. 372-375.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Clinical significance and prognosis of idiopathic syringomyelia

AU - Nakamura, Masaya

AU - Ishii, Ken

AU - Watanabe, Kota

AU - Tsuji, Takashi

AU - Matsumoto, Morio

AU - Toyama, Yoshiaki

AU - Chiba, Kazuhiro

PY - 2009/7/1

Y1 - 2009/7/1

N2 - STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective case series. OBJECTIVE: To determine the clinical significance and prognosis of idiopathic syringomyelia. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: With the widespread use of magnetic resonance imaging, cases of syringomyelia are found occasionally. However, the clinical significance and optimum treatment strategy for idiopathic syringomyelia remain unclear, because there are few reports on details of this condition. METHODS: The clinical records and magnetic resonance images of 15 patients with idiopathic syringomyelia were reviewed to determine the changes in patient's neurologic status assessed by the Japanese Orthopedic Association scores for cervical myelopathy and the distribution of the syringomyelia on magnetic resonance imaging. Twelve cases were treated conservatively (conservative group) and syringo-subarachnoid shunt was performed in the remaining 3 cases (surgical group). The follow-up period ranged from 7 to 20 years (mean: 10.5 y). RESULTS: The localized type of idiopathic syringomyelia, which extended under 3 vertebras (mean: 2.1 vertebras), was observed in the 12 patients of the conservative group. There were no significant changes in either the size of the syringomyelia or the severity of the neurologic deficits during the follow-up period (mean: 10 y). In contrast, the extended type, which distributed over 4 or more vertebras (mean: 10.2 vertebras), was observed in the 3 patients of the surgical group. Because of severe and progressive neurologic deficits, syringo-subarachnoid shunt was performed and the surgery successfully prevented further neurologic deterioration. The mean Japanese Orthopedic Association score of the surgical group was significantly lower than that of the conservative group, both at the time of the initial examination and at the final follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: There are 2 types of idiopathic syringomyelia. One is a "localized" type, which might represents congenital enlargement of the central canal of the spinal cord, and can be managed conservatively. The other is an "extended" type, which causes progressive neurologic dysfunction, and should be treated surgically to prevent further neurologic deterioration. Further study should be needed to clarify the mechanism of the extended type of idiopathic syringomyelia.

AB - STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective case series. OBJECTIVE: To determine the clinical significance and prognosis of idiopathic syringomyelia. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: With the widespread use of magnetic resonance imaging, cases of syringomyelia are found occasionally. However, the clinical significance and optimum treatment strategy for idiopathic syringomyelia remain unclear, because there are few reports on details of this condition. METHODS: The clinical records and magnetic resonance images of 15 patients with idiopathic syringomyelia were reviewed to determine the changes in patient's neurologic status assessed by the Japanese Orthopedic Association scores for cervical myelopathy and the distribution of the syringomyelia on magnetic resonance imaging. Twelve cases were treated conservatively (conservative group) and syringo-subarachnoid shunt was performed in the remaining 3 cases (surgical group). The follow-up period ranged from 7 to 20 years (mean: 10.5 y). RESULTS: The localized type of idiopathic syringomyelia, which extended under 3 vertebras (mean: 2.1 vertebras), was observed in the 12 patients of the conservative group. There were no significant changes in either the size of the syringomyelia or the severity of the neurologic deficits during the follow-up period (mean: 10 y). In contrast, the extended type, which distributed over 4 or more vertebras (mean: 10.2 vertebras), was observed in the 3 patients of the surgical group. Because of severe and progressive neurologic deficits, syringo-subarachnoid shunt was performed and the surgery successfully prevented further neurologic deterioration. The mean Japanese Orthopedic Association score of the surgical group was significantly lower than that of the conservative group, both at the time of the initial examination and at the final follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: There are 2 types of idiopathic syringomyelia. One is a "localized" type, which might represents congenital enlargement of the central canal of the spinal cord, and can be managed conservatively. The other is an "extended" type, which causes progressive neurologic dysfunction, and should be treated surgically to prevent further neurologic deterioration. Further study should be needed to clarify the mechanism of the extended type of idiopathic syringomyelia.

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